Where do you start telling a story when you don't know when the story really started?? What does one say about themselves without another asking the questions?? I always think that when I eventually tell the world my story, I'll start with some beginning, the genesis of my existence. I'm starting to think I should start with today, because today I am who I am because of who I was yesterday.
Today, I'm sitting in my uncomfortable dining set chair at my makeshift desktop with my daughter behind me sitting at the table making a "piano" out her yellow play-dough. I have a horrendous, slamming headache from drinking too much Sweet Riesling last night with one of my good friends and our husbands. We sat around a fire pit last night and every time I catch a whiff of residual smoke in my hair, I know it's a sign that fall is on it's way! My husband is trying to answer his discussion boards for his college classes and avoid his math tests. My son is sleeping, because that's his favorite activity, and my brother is somewhere, doing something lazy and 17-ish.
I have my own homework I should be doing, and I should also be attempting to do something productive to clean my slightly disgusting house. I really don't understand how it happens. Every fucking weekend, I clean like my life depends on it, I put threats on my family's heads like I'm a mob boss, and for the first day or so into the new week I keep up with the mess. The very moment Wednesday rolls around, I give up and by Saturday I SWEAR there has to be mold growth SOMEWHERE and that CPS has already been alerted and they're on their way. And yet here I sit drinking coffee and typing (chicken pecking) away at this blog post ;)
So where do I start my story of all my yesterdays? I don't, not today. Today I'll tell you this: I'm a mother to two glourious, beautiful, intellegent and asshole-ish children, my baby girl Genevieve Charlie, who is 3, and her brother Dominic Andrew, who is 2. I'm also a wife to my husband Drew, who is my best friend and has been since high school (our love story is to be saved for another day lol), and God help him, despite his ego, his HUGE head that barely fits through doorways, his astute ability to make me see red and steam blow from my ears, he really is the true love of my life. He's never not supported me. He's never stopped holding my hand. He knew my secret when it was still the most shameful secret of my life, and he's stood beside me when I told the world in a small and slightly ashamed voice. Now he watches me shout my life's story from the mountain tops, and when I climb down, he rubs my back and tells me he loves me and I am doing something important. I don't need him to tell me I'm justified, I don't need his permission, but the fact that I have it is heart fluttering (...either that or I need to see a specialist). I'm also more than a sister, but not a quite a mother to my brother Paul. He ran away with us when he was 14 to follow us across country and start anew away from our mother and the shitty existence we were subjected to back in New York. It hasn't always been easy with him, nor have we been easy on him, but he's still here, still trying, and still loving us regardless of how terrible we parent teenagers. He's happy, and he's whole, and he's already succeeding because he cares. He's going to be something big, something amazing, and I will be there holding his hand and telling him that he is important and he is good.
So...yeah, that's my life. My babies, my husband, my brother, they are my world. But I'm something else too, something besides their mommy, their wife or their sister...I'm a survivor. I've survived sex trafficking, as a child, and something I've recently accepted, that it happened against my will. Yesterday, I sat on the phone for 2 hours, after I'd gone out to breakfast with my favorite beezie and our babies, and after I'd finished all the grocery shopping and putting it all away, I sat and I talked, and talked and talked...and I told a complete stranger all the gory little details of my past. This gentleman is a reporter for a HUGE magazine, and he from what little I know besides his name and area code, he's pretty fucking phenomenal at his job! He was sensitive, patient, and personable. He never had a sound of judgement come through during our conversation, and he was patient. I think he was also slightly shocked at how willing I was to share, and talk, and talk....and talk. Talking is usually my downfall, but this may have been a strength.
At the end of our interview I told him something that usually really bothers me to admit, more so than the the truth of all that happened. I had to admit to him that I have survivor's guilt. I'm reminded each and every day while looking and researching, and listening to other survivors about their stories, that I haven't completely healed. I feel guilt, and I feel disconnection. I feel guilt because unlike the mass majority of the victims and survivors of sex trafficking, I didn't start out in this world with nothing. I came from a decent home, not exactly good parents, but not the worse by far. I was never molested, I wasn't abused with more than old fashioned spanks and the occasional smack across the mouth for something I shouldn't have said. My father was drunk and my mother emotionally and physically absent the majority of my childhood. But I was taken care of, if not by my parents, then by my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, my friend's parents. We were broke and poor and my parents usually valued alcohol and cigarettes over food and other necessities, if there was no food, we went to another family member's house and we ate. I know that I'm one of very few. I don't fit the demographic, I am against the odds, and I feel that maybe, sometimes, I don't deserve the recognition nor the support. I feel that I wouldn't have amounted to much in life without my experiences, because the chain of events that followed allowed me to meet my husband and travel the road I'm on now. I feel disconnect because as I repeat my story time and again, and I try to recall these memories in my mind, I sometimes feel like it never happened to me. I know this is a psychological way of suppressing parts of my life I spent years trying to forget and I know that it's not going to be easy or fun to recall all of the details. But when I'm talking about it, I feel like a story teller, not a survivor. I feel like I don't have the right to call myself a survivor.